El Camino's Stewart attacks off the edge

One of the top defensive ends in the California JUCO ranks for the past two seasons has been El Camino's Daniel Stewart (6-0, 240). He's having a great 2009 campaign for the Warriors and recently several D-1 programs have started to show him the attention worthy of his exploits...

Stewart prepped at Bellflower High School in southern California and knew pretty early in the recruiting process he wasn't going to be able to qualify.

"I wasn't really getting recruited and I knew I had to go to a junior college, so I started looking around and everyone I talked to told me El Camino was the program I had to be at," Stewart told JCFootball.com recently. "The staff here is the best around and they always get their guys ready for the next level. I feel like I've learned a lot in my time here and that will help me when I get to my next school."

As a freshman in 2008, Stewart played both as a standup defensive end or with his hand down and posted 51 tackles, good for second on the team, and led the Warriors with 17 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks. This season he's been even more dynamic, posting 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss with 35 tackles in only nine games and he says there's more to come.

"Our whole team needs to step it up in the playoffs because there are some great teams out there we're going to be facing," Stewart said. "I know I have to step up my game and that is something I plan to do."

What is it that sets Stewart apart from those other defensive ends out there? One word...speed.

"I run a 4.6 and I have an explosive first step," Stewart said. "One of the things I really worked on this past summer was my 'get off' and playing with leverage. I also worked on some moves that have helped me out this year too."

Recruiting has just begun to hit its stride with Stewart and he said sevearl D-1 programs have told him they like what they've seen from him so far.

"San Diego State, Kansas State, Utah and San Jose State are all after me right now," Stewart said. "All of them have talked to me and they all asked for my transcripts and my film. They all like me at defensive end, but some of them have also said they think I could play outside linebacker too, it just depends on their scheme and system and what they need on different plays."

Stewart is on pace to finish his AA in May and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

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